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Gambling Laws of Delaware Legal State of Gambling

Delaware, known for being the first state to ratify the Declaration of Independence, also made history in 2012 by becoming the pioneer in legalizing online casino gambling. This move allowed licensed websites to offer popular games like slots, blackjack, roulette, and poker. Though it took time for the first casinos to open online and real-money gaming to commence, Delaware now boasts a range of reputable online gambling options, setting a precedent for other states in the digital gaming sphere.

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Overview of Online Gambling in Delaware

Delaware stands as a pioneering force in the landscape of legalized gambling within the United States. With a rich history dating back to itslegal document exemption from the full constraints of the federal PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) in 1992, the state has emerged as a prominent hub for various forms of gambling activities. Even before the overturning of PASPA, Delaware secured the privilege to grant licenses for limited sports betting, initially restricted to 3-team parlay NFL wagers. However, the state swiftly transitioned to embracing full-scale sports betting, making history by accepting the first comprehensive sports bets in June 2018, setting a precedent well ahead of many other regions in the country.

Delaware's pioneering spirit extends beyond sports betting, encompassing a robust online gambling landscape. As one of the three states—alongside Nevada and New Jersey—to legalize online gambling, Delaware offers an array of opportunities for enthusiasts. From online casino gaming, which gained legal sanction in 2012, enabling licensed platforms to host a variety of slots, table games like blackjack, roulette, and poker, to the inclusion of daily fantasy sports, the state has consistently expanded its digital gambling repertoire. Moreover, Delaware is part of an interstate agreement, joining forces with Nevada and New Jersey to facilitate online poker rooms and tournaments, enhancing both revenue and popularity within the online gaming sphere. Complementing these offerings, the Delaware State Lottery, established in 1975, remains a fundamental aspect of state revenue, offering instant wins, keno, and various games available through approved retail outlets across the state.

The Legal Gambling Status in Delaware

Statut

Delaware has made gambling legal in many forms. They were one of the first states to allow online casino games, sports betting, fantasy sports, and real-money poker. People in Delaware have a lot of options to play different games online. The state also runs a lottery, which is a big way they make money. Overall, Delaware is open to different kinds of gambling, giving people plenty of choices to play games and have fun.

Type of Gambling Description Legalization Status
Casino Gambling Includes slots, blackjack, roulette, poker, etc. Legalized in 2012
Sports Betting Wagering on sports events Limited in 1992, expanded in 2018
Online Casino Gambling Casino games accessible over the internet Legalized in 2012
Online Poker Playing poker online Legalized in 2012
Daily Fantasy Sports Fantasy sports contests for cash prizes Initially blocked, legalized in 2017
State Lottery Lottery games such as keno and instant wins Established in 1975

License for Online Casinos in Delaware

In Delaware, the regulation and operation of online poker and casino games fall under the oversight of the Delaware Lottery, as authorized by the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012. Under this legislation, the state granted licenses to operate online casinos, facilitating a legal framework for internet-based gaming within its borders. The Delaware Lottery assumes a pivotal role in overseeing and regulating these online gambling activities, ensuring compliance with stringent standards and guidelines set forth by the law. Through these licenses, authorized operators are permitted to provide a variety of casino games, including slots, blackjack, roulette, and poker, to residents and visitors within the state of Delaware. This legislative stride has established a structured and monitored platform for online casinos, fostering a secure and regulated environment for individuals to engage in virtual gaming experiences.

History and Timeline for Delaware Online Gambling

This timeline outlines the sequence of events that culminated in the legalization of gambling in the state of Delaware.

Delaware's gambling history reflects a dynamic evolution from its colonial roots of horse race betting in the 18th century to the resurgence of gambling activities in the mid-20th century. The establishment of regulatory bodies in the 1930s facilitated the legalization of horse racing and betting, leading to the opening of Delaware Park, the state's first legal betting racetrack. Subsequent milestones, such as the advent of the Delaware Lottery in 1974 and the legalization of casino games in 2009, laid the groundwork for further expansions, including online gambling and online poker in 2012. Delaware's pioneering move into full-scale sports betting in 2018, the first state outside Nevada to do so, solidified its position as a trailblazer in the realm of gambling legislation and innovation.

  • 1760: Colonists in Delaware start betting on horse racing, marking the initial roots of gambling in the state.
  • 1933: Formation of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission and Harness Racing Commission to regulate legal horse racing and betting.
  • 1937: Delaware Park, the first legal betting racetrack in the state, opens its doors.
  • 1974: Legalization of the Delaware Lottery, contributing to state funds and marking an essential milestone in gambling history.
  • 2009: Legalization of casino games within licensed racetrack premises, initially exclusive to racetracks.
  • 2012: Governor Jack Markell signs the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act into law, legalizing online gambling options such as lotto tickets, table games, and online slots.
  • 2018: Delaware becomes the first state outside Nevada to introduce full-scale sports betting, with the first bet accepted on June 5. This step also includes the legalization of full online sports betting, setting a precedent nationwide.

Legalization of Sports Betting in Delaware

  • 2009: Governor Jack Markell initiates an attempt to expand the state's parlay lottery into full-scale sports betting. However, the move faces legal opposition from sports leagues citing PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act). Despite the Delaware Supreme Court's ruling in favor of the state, federal courts disagree, leading to a final ruling against Delaware's proposed expansion by a US circuit court. The US Supreme Court declines to hear the case, ultimately maintaining PASPA's restrictions.
  • 2018: Following the US Supreme Court's decision to overturn PASPA, Delaware conducts a review of its existing laws and determines that no further legislative actions are required to proceed with legal sports betting. State officials clear the way for the launch of legal sports betting, which Governor John Carney confirms on May's last day, targeting a rollout on June 5, marking the initiation of legal sports betting in the state.
  • 2019: Delaware experiences the initial outcomes of legal sports betting, totaling $132.5 million in sports betting handle and $19.5 million in revenue, showcasing a significant start to the state's sports wagering market.
  • 2021-2022: Delaware's sports betting landscape shows fluctuations in handle and revenue. In 2021, amidst recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the state records $121.8 million in sports betting handle and $10.9 million in revenue. However, by 2022, there's a dip in performance with a 32% drop in handle, amounting to $82.4 million, and a little over $7 million in revenue compared to the previous year.
  • 2023: The Delaware State Lottery announces intentions to issue a request for proposal from potential vendors capable of offering online sports betting, online poker, and online casino gambling. This move follows the expiration of the state's exclusive contract with 888 Holdings (William Hill), signaling a potential shift or expansion in the state's online gambling offerings.

Legalization of Online Gambling in Delaware

  • 2009: Legalization of casino games within licensed racetrack premises, initially exclusively available at racetracks.
  • 2012: Legalization of online gambling and online poker, expanding the scope of permissible gambling activities within the state.
  • June 26, 2023: Delaware's online casinos generate over $1.2 million in revenue for May, marking the highest figure recorded for that month across all years.
  • July 11, 2023: Renovation activities commence on the main gaming floor at Delaware Park Casino, anticipated for completion by the end of summer or early fall.
  • July 18, 2023: The Delaware Lottery reports the strongest June performance for online casino revenue, with Bally's Dover accounting for approximately 39.3% of the total share among the three licensees.
  • August 17, 2023: Rush Street Interactive (RSI) secures a five-year partnership with the Delaware Lottery, becoming the state's chosen provider for online gaming services.
  • August 24, 2023: Online casinos in Delaware observe a revenue of nearly $1.8 million in July, signaling a slight drop of over 5% compared to the same month in 2022.
  • Sept. 18, 2023: Delaware's online casinos mark nine consecutive months with at least $1 million in winnings for August, showcasing consistent revenue generation.
  • Oct. 23, 2023: While Delaware's online casino numbers witness a slight dip in September compared to the previous year, sports betting sees a significant surge of over 200% from August.
  • Nov. 27, 2023: Delaware's October online casino wagers total $30.54 million, displaying an 18.50% decrease from October 2022 and a 22.27% drop from September, signifying fluctuations in wager amounts.

 

Legal Gambling Forms in Delaware

Legal gambling forms in Delaware encompass various avenues, reflecting the state's progressive approach to gaming. Residents and visitors can indulge in a range of legalized gambling options, including casino gaming featuring popular offerings like slots, blackjack, roulette, and poker. Sports betting, both at physical locations and online, has gained substantial traction following legislative changes that expanded the scope beyond initial restrictions. Delawareans can participate in daily fantasy sports competitions, while online poker rooms and tournaments add to the diverse gambling landscape. These activities operate under the oversight of the Delaware Lottery, offering a regulated and controlled environment for individuals to enjoy different forms of entertainment and chance within the confines of the law.

In Delaware, individuals must be at least 21 years old to engage in various forms of gambling, including casino gaming, sports betting, and participation in online gambling activities, ensuring compliance with state regulations governing legal age requirements within the gambling industry.

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Delaware Online Casinos

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Delaware Bingo

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Delaware Blackjack

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Delaware Lotteries

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Delaware Parimutuel Betting

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Illegal

Delaware Prohibited Gambling Activities

Understand the boundaries of prohibited gambling activities in Delaware. Stay informed about activities deemed illegal to maintain a responsible and legal gambling environment. Adhering to regulations ensures a secure and enjoyable experience for all participants.

Check Out These Online Casinos Available in Delaware

Discover a variety of permitted online casinos accessible in Delaware, where you have the freedom to select your preferred type of gambling entertainment. As part of the registration process within these platforms, age verification is a mandatory step to ensure compliance with legal betting age requirements. Choose from a diverse array of gambling options available at these authorized online casinos in Delaware, all while undergoing the necessary verification to ensure a safe and lawful gaming experience.

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Legalization of Bingo in Delaware

bingo

In Delaware, the landscape of charitable gaming underwent a significant shift in 1957 when a constitutional amendment paved the way for the legalization of bingo. This transformative amendment established guidelines enabling charitable organizations to host bingo games within the state. These guidelines govern the operations of charitable entities, allowing them to offer a variety of gaming activities such as bingo, instant bingo, raffles, and Texas Hold'em poker tournaments. The legalization of bingo in 1957 marked a pivotal moment in Delaware's gaming history, empowering charitable organizations to engage in fundraising endeavors while adhering to the mandated regulations, thereby fostering a controlled and regulated environment for charitable gaming activities within the state.

Legalization of Blackjack in Delaware

blackjack

In Delaware, the landscape of online gambling expanded significantly with the legalization of various casino games, including blackjack. The state's proactive approach to online gambling was solidified in 2012 with the passage of legislation allowing for a spectrum of internet-based gaming options. Among these offerings, online blackjack emerged as a prominent feature, joining the roster of permitted games such as slots, poker, roulette, and other table games. This legalization marked a progressive step in Delaware's gaming legislation, enabling licensed online platforms to provide residents and visitors with the opportunity to enjoy blackjack and other popular casino games in a regulated digital environment, aligning with the state's commitment to offering diverse and controlled gaming experiences.

Legalization of Lotteries in Delaware

Lottery Icon

In Delaware, the Delaware Lottery stands as a multifaceted entity offering a diverse array of gaming options beyond controlling sports betting in the state. Apart from overseeing and regulating all sports wagering activities, the lottery presents an extensive menu of gaming choices. It actively participates in multi-state draw games such as Powerball and Mega Millions, in addition to providing instant games like scratchers, keno, video lottery terminals, and online table games. The Sports Pick game, available at lottery retailers, enables bettors to engage in parlay bets on college and professional football games, allowing flexibility in choosing wager amounts and the number of teams for the parlay. Notably, the Delaware Lottery manages and monitors all video lottery terminals within racinos, ensuring fair gameplay and compliance with regulations. Furthermore, through a partnership with Scientific Games, the Delaware Lottery enhances its offerings with a loyalty program and a mobile app, extending convenience and benefits to its participants and players across the state.

Delaware Parimutuel Betting

Horse Racing IconIn Delaware, the framework of sports betting encompasses various forms of wagering, including pari-mutuel betting, lotteries, and bingo, as specified in the state's sports betting bill. Pari-mutuel wagering, a prevalent form of betting, allows individuals to place bets collectively in a pool, with odds determined by the total bets made on an event. Moreover, the bill extends permissions to licensed racetracks to conduct simulcasts of horse races, providing an avenue for spectators to engage in off-track betting activities. This legislation forms a critical component of Delaware's gambling landscape, offering diverse options for individuals interested in participating in sports betting, while concurrently adhering to regulations stipulated by the state. The 2012 Delaware Gambling Competitiveness Act solidifies the framework for Internet poker and casino games, reinforcing stringent safety requirements and operational guidelines for both existing and prospective operators in the online gaming sphere within Delaware.

Delaware Prohibited Gambling Activities

In Delaware, certain gambling activities are expressly prohibited by law to maintain regulatory control and uphold the integrity of the gaming industry. The state's legislation delineates prohibited gambling activities to prevent unauthorized or illicit gaming practices. These prohibitions encompass activities such as unlicensed gambling operations, unauthorized sports betting outside regulated entities, and any form of gambling involving individuals below the legal age limit of 21 years. Engaging in gambling activities that do not adhere to specific licensing or regulatory requirements set forth by the state authorities falls under the ambit of prohibited actions. Delaware's laws aim to curb illegal gambling practices, ensuring a fair and controlled gambling environment while safeguarding the welfare of its residents and maintaining the integrity of the gaming industry.

Gambling in Delaware – Licensing, Tax and Fees

Tax and Fees Icon

In Delaware's gaming landscape, non-gaming vendors seeking involvement in the industry encounter a structured licensing system entailing specific fees and renewal terms. An initial license fee of $2,000 covers a three-year period, with subsequent renewals available at $2,000 for four-year intervals. Each license and renewal entails a $4,000 fee, indicative of the state's regulatory approach in maintaining standards and oversight within the gaming sector. These fees aim to support regulatory efforts, ensuring compliance and quality assurance among non-gaming vendors operating within the state's gaming industry. Prospective vendors should reach out to the Delaware Lottery for the most current terms and conditions associated with obtaining and renewing licenses.

Regarding taxation and revenue distribution in the realm of Internet table games and video lottery games, Delaware maintains parity between online and land-based gaming formats. Taxation mechanisms remain comparable, with Internet table games and video lottery games subject to similar tax rates as their land-based counterparts. Specifically, table games, whether online or land-based, incur a 15.5 percent tax on licensees, contributing to the state's revenue structure. A 4.5 percent purse supplement further supplements the revenue generated from table games. Delaware's taxation framework aims to ensure equitable revenue distribution while aligning tax structures for both online and land-based gaming entities within the state.

This table summarizes all the costs, fees and taxes that are required for an online casino in Delaware:

Cost Component Amount
Application Fee Varies
Gaming License Fee $2,000 initial, $2,000 renewal
Renewal Fee $2,000 (Renewable for 4-year term)
Contribution to State Compulsive Gambling Programs Varies
Gross Receipts Tax (iGaming Operator) Varies
Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) to CRDA Varies

Important Questions for Gambling Laws at Delaware

Is online gambling legal in Delaware?

Yes, online gambling is legal in Delaware. The state has legalized various forms of online gambling, including online casino games like slots, poker, and table games, as well as online sports betting. Delaware was among the first states in the United States to legalize online gambling, passing legislation in 2012 that allowed for a comprehensive range of internet-based gaming options. The Delaware Lottery oversees and regulates online gambling activities in the state, ensuring compliance with stringent standards and regulations. Residents and visitors within Delaware's borders have access to licensed online gambling sites that offer a variety of gaming experiences in a regulated and controlled environment.

What is the minimum age requirement for engaging in online casinos, sports betting, and poker in Delaware?

In Delaware, the minimum age requirement for engaging in online casinos, sports betting, and poker is 21 years old. This age restriction applies uniformly across various forms of gambling, whether in-person or online. Individuals must be at least 21 years of age to participate in online gambling activities within the state of Delaware. Adherence to this age requirement is crucial, and licensed operators typically verify a player's age and identity to ensure compliance with the state's regulations regarding legal gambling age.

How does parimutuel betting work in Delaware?

Parimutuel betting in Delaware, commonly associated with horse racing, operates by pooling all the bets placed on a particular race into a single fund or pool. The odds and final payouts are not determined until all bets are placed. Once betting closes, the pool's total amount is calculated, and the track deducts a percentage (commonly known as the “takeout”) for track expenses, taxes, and purses. The remaining funds are distributed among the winning bettors based on the correct combinations of their bets, after accounting for the house's cut.

What types of gambling are legally permissible in Delaware?

In Delaware, legally permissible forms of gambling include online casinos, sports betting, poker, lotteries, bingo, horse racing, and land-based casinos.

Type of Gambling Description
Online Casinos Licensed websites offering various casino games such as slots, blackjack, roulette, and poker accessible via the internet.
Sports Betting Placing wagers on sports events or outcomes, either online or in-person, including bets on professional and college sports leagues.
Poker Playing poker games, tournaments, and variations either in land-based casinos or through licensed online poker platforms.
Lotteries Games of chance where participants buy tickets to win prizes based on randomly drawn numbers or results. Includes state-run lotteries like Powerball and Mega Millions.
Bingo A game of chance where players match numbers on cards with numbers drawn randomly, often used in charitable fundraising events or organized gaming sessions.
Horse Racing Wagering on horse races, either in-person at racetracks or through off-track betting facilities, commonly involving bets like win, place, and show.
Land-based Casinos Physical establishments offering a variety of casino games, slots, table games, and entertainment options for patrons.

Which regulatory bodies oversee gambling activities in Delaware?

In Delaware, gambling activities are regulated and overseen by three primary regulatory bodies:

  1. Delaware Lottery: The Delaware State Lottery regulates and oversees most gambling activities in the state, including traditional lottery games, video lottery terminals (VLTs), online gambling (casinos, poker, and sports betting), and charitable gaming.

     

  2. Delaware Racing Commission: This commission regulates horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering at the state's racetracks, overseeing race meets, ensuring fair competition, and enforcing rules and regulations related to horse racing.

     

  3. Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement: Tasked with monitoring and enforcing compliance with gaming laws and regulations, this division oversees and ensures the integrity of gaming operations within the state's casinos, focusing on maintaining fairness, security, and adherence to standards.
Jessica

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Jessica Bozukova | Senior Content Writer

Jessica is a skilled writer adept at crafting unique casino reviews, bonus pages, slot analyses, and exciting gaming news. Her expertise lies in delivering compelling content tailored for the avid gaming community.
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